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Stress – How it can Kill You if You Let it.

Stress – How it can Kill You if You let it.

Part 1 of my journey of change – the voice of my heart.

Past career – past stresses

I walked away from a job in 2011 after 20 years that was over the last 5 years of it killing me – all because of stress – I failed to recognise the signs and symptoms and also thought I was invincible and super woman.
In early October 2010 I just about made it home – I know I drove home stupid I know I know – and within 15 minutes went into a sudden cardiac attack – ie my heart went into melt down – and I was having a huge arrhythmia attack.

Most sudden cardiac deaths are caused by abnormal heart rhythms called arrhythmias. The most common life-threatening arrhythmia is ventricular fibrillation, which is an erratic, disorganized firing of impulses from the ventricles (the heart’s lower chambers). When this occurs, the heart is unable to pump blood and death will occur within minutes, if left untreated.

All this from stress – I was taken into hospital where I was given medication that stopped my heart and restarted it again to attempt to get the arrhythmia back on track and slow down – as the next stage was full cardiac arrest – (sounds very dramatic and scary – it was I have never consciously held onto a nurse and consultants hands so much in my life and just begged them to help me) – 3 days later I left hospital and told that I was in need of some serious help – but I what I got was some serious help from the best Heart Hospital and consultant in Europe at Broadgreen.

I went in on 29th April 2011 and my operation was 88% successful – apparently they had fun playing space invaders in my heart – Left ventricular de-fibrillation is what Mr Mark Hall did – thank god I was asleep – but next time I apparently need to stay awake eeek – hence why putting off for as long as I can.

I know for me its taken me a few years to actually really try to address and stop the stress impact and its consequences on me – I get stressed easily, I tended to over personalise things – if it went wrong it was because I was at fault, I was the problem, I am to blame – I continued to batter myself on leaving work, worry about money, worry about kids, worry about me – hit menopause lost the plot – flitted all over the place trying to find what I wanted to do – lost a heap of money, friends, because of some of the issues thought I was losing my sanity and my marriage and thought I had lost me. I thought life what shit to be honest.

The year from hell – ok I just lost my way!

2014 turned out to be the best and the worst year – you would have thought 2011 was – but nope – I am a slow burner – and I burnt and smouldered and hurt myself until November 2014 and I woke up from a bit of a fog – fuck me did I wake up (apologies for swearing if offended but I actually do swear).
I looked around me and made a choice to change – (thought I had as had read and listened to all the self help, spiritual stuff and people, books and videos ) but it all just kept nothing at bay and the shite kept coming – and then I looked at me, really looked at me and decided I needed to just stop.
So I did – and then good things started happening – not huge things or at fast paces but small little things – and things begun to change.

As you can see from the video – its all about learning to manage your stress and recognising what the causes are and how to combat them – don`t do what I did for so long – ignore, fight and under estimate what stress can do – both to you and those you love around you – I was a martyr and a warrior but realised the only one I was hurting was those I loved around me and me – the total opposite to what I wanted or thought I was doing .  Stupid yes absolutely.

Never under estimate your past – learn from it and move on

In 1995 and in 1996 I nearly died from Eclampsia – my daughters where both still born but I was lucky I was alive, on both occasions they fought to save my life and thank goodness they did – sadly the longer term impact both emotionally and mentally were much more long lasting than the physical impact.  But on both occasions I went into cardiac arrest – possibly this was the first real signs I had a heart problem – who knows but I had in 2010 been given a 3rd chance to get it right and for so so long I had – like so many other women – just got on with life.  Took it all in my stride, worked harder, did not give up (fought hard to have kids born alive and well and me well) and just kept up the warrior mode and of course being super woman – I did it all.

I fought for everyone – Trade Union secretary, spokesperson at conferences, extra work, degrees and qualifications, work work work, lived hard and played hard – and did not realise just how miserable I was making myself – the mask was on and the sword was in hand.

Then my world (created and designed by me) fell apart, I had taken the voluntary redundancy and my grieving for a career, job and identity began and continued – of course it did, this was me living in chronic stress mode again – cycle of learnt behaviour for me and a coping strategy I only knew.

Post attack but in denial

From 21012 – 2014 I was in denial and fear – adding more and more un-necessary stress to a world I did not need – and while it was better than when in a full time job and career prior to October 2010 it was really just a smaller version of what had been happening then.  I got into negative thought patterns, negative behaviour patterns and it was like the self destruct button was under my finger and regularly just being tested to see how far I would take me or my family to the edge of pressing.

By grief was so deep rooted and that I felt my whole identity was so wrapped up in my work and career, I thought it was me – so losing all that was like grieving for a part of me that had died and maybe I was taking myself there unconsciously.

Decision to change – I woke up from a fug

Then as I said I made a decision to change – I knew I was losing my sanity as it was insanity to keep doing the same thing over and over again and expect different results.  Was there an aha moment – sadly I had had a few, but choose to ignore them in 2012, 2013 but the one in 2014 was driving in the car from a part time job taken and just pulled over side of road and sobbed – I hated it.  What did I want ? What was I going to do ? How was I going to make those changes? I was at a loss – but for the first time I woke up from a fug – a fog so deep set that I had just been living and not really doing anything more – I knew then that I wanted more but most of all I deserved more, my kids and hubby deserved more and they deserved the happy fun me the real me – the me they loved – but the I needed to get back to loving me and me then being able to really love them all back – love the world back – be me.  So I drove home, sat hubby down – kids got into it all too lol – and they just told me to stop hurting myself and start doing what I loved.

Literally the next day – a friend from past asked me to do some work with her in local school and so it all began to change.  I began to really see what changes I could make, what choices I have and what chances I have been given.

3 cs in life

I started 2015 as I promised I would start it – making changes – positive changes.
I started with money , my love life/ marriage, my family, my business, my friends and through out them all myself. The most important one I often sadly forgot about or used to abuse.

 

 

 

 

Its Emotional – but good

Its been  an emotional year so far – not all has gone smoothly but slowly but surely things are improving – and I know I am at the end of the year ie now also changing other negative behaviours re food and relationship to food and weight – which has just been thrown in there as well lol.

But most of all I am finding what makes me smile, laugh and enjoy life again – hormones don`t help but hey thats the joys of aging and being female …… and I cry alot – just getting it all out, trying to stop being that warrior woman getting angry annoyed, frustrated and so forth – adverts get me going, doesn`t have to take much – but its a source of huge fun in the house – who can get mum sobbing over daft things lol.  But its ok –

I have been able to look more and more in the mirror over this year and put the pieces of me back together again – some good people have helped, some via business who are now good good close friends and others via knitting who are now getting more and more close as friends.  Others I have let go and thats ok – my circle of friends is rather small but my networking of colleagues is rather large.

Hubby and me – getting on better, marriage sorted – we still have a few pings in the ring now and again – I am an aries and he is libra – says it all – me quick to react him slow burner – but we are 25 years married and 27 years together so I think holding our own.

Kids – I am blessed – nothing more needs said.

Business & BizMums Networking

Business – well thats on the improvement side – the Knitting Fairy has come out and proud, freelancing working away and its all just moving from strength to strength – even got into the finals of BizMums Awards – Creative Business 2015 – so not all bad then

Finalist badge

 

 

So can stress kill you?  Yes it bloody well can so why are you allowing it to.

Chronic stress over long long periods of time is a silent killer and often many cardiac deaths are caused by it all – please please do not allow this time little word get so much play time in your life and have the huge impact that it will do to you and those you love around you.

Take action now – do not live with regrets – I know I am not any longer allowing chronic stress to have a heart hold on me or my families lives – I want to be around for a rather long time, to spend time with my kids, see them into adult hood, their own families and be a grandparent. I want to spend time with my grumpy ole fella who I adore and want a retirement where we can be there for one another into old age.

Business wise – I no longer want to the have any regrets and my vision of big is now what I am talking about and wanting to put our there.

So don`t let stress kill you – don`t let chronic stress get a grip.

 

 

 

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